Brock Badgers (11-1)
Brock repeated as the regular-season West Division leaders thanks to sweeping the Western Mustangs in the pair of games between the teams this year. The Badgers led all teams in scoring with 201 goals, a truly phenomenal total that may be an all-time CUFLA high. Greg Davidson led CUFLA with 47 goals and three other players scored at least 21. The Badgers are hard to stop from scoring and will be a handful for every opponent they face at the Baggataway.
They're no slouches defensively, either, although their numbers on that side of the ball aren't as impressive as their offensive totals. They allowed 84 goals, third-most among the six Baggataway teams. If the Badgers are going to win their 19th Baggataway Cup, they'll need to either tighten up the defence a bit or continue to fill the net against the best teams in the league.
Brock lost a chance at a perfect season when they lost their final game of the regular season, 13-12 to Guelph in overtime. The Badgers will look to use that game as a reminder that they have to come out ready to play every game, especially with the one and done format of the Baggataway.
The Badgers are the top seed in the West and therefore have a date booked in the semifinals at noon on Saturday with the winner of the Bishop's-Guelph quarterfinal. Last year, with the same scenario, Brock dropped a 14-9 decision to a Guelph team that went on a run at the perfect time.
Western Mustangs (10-2)
Western is a defence-first team that allowed only 78 goals in the regular season, fewest in the West Division. Players like Matt Spanger and Hayden Smith give them a blend of athleticism and physicality in their own end of the field. They also have Toronto Rock and Team Canada worlds gold medalist Jesse Gamble adding some pure speed to help in the transition from defence to offence.
On offence, the Mustangs continue to be a team without real stars but with a solid team approach that sees scoring coming from all over the roster. Ryan McRory led Western in scoring with 21 goals and 17 assists for 38 points. That total is far behind the leading scorers for most of the other Baggataway teams. Western will be patient in waiting for scoring opportunities to develop and look to capitalize on them when they do.
Last year, the Mustangs suffered a surprising comeback defeat at the hands of the Queen's Gaels in the quarterfinals. Expect Western to come out ready for whatever the Gaels bring to the table this time around.
Guelph Gryphons (8-4)
The defending champions have had some ups and downs this season, including a pair of losses to Western that weren't close. But they have the veteran leadership and talent to make a run just like they did last year. Ryan Serville was the MVP of the Baggataway last year and he returned with a 31-goal season this fall. The real leader of the team is Curtis Knight, who scored 50 points including 29 goals and can play effectively all over the field.
The numbers are not in the Gryphons favour heading into the Baggataway weekend. They scored the fewest goals and allowed the most among the six remaining teams. They showed last year, however, that it doesn't matter what you did during the regular sason; last year's Guelph team had given up by far the most goals of any Baggataway team but put it all together at the right time to hoist the championship trophy.
Their totals are actually slightly better on both offence and defene this year, so a repeat performance is certainly a possibility.
Guelph plays Bishop's in the quarterfinals Friday night at 6 pm in a rematch of the game they won 12-10 in 2013.